View Full Version : Weekly Pastel Sketch Thread June 11 - 17

Paula Ford
06-11-2007, 06:24 AM
Hello Artists :wave:

The Weekly Pastel Sketch thread is for ALL pastelists who use soft pastels, hard pastels, oil pastels, or pastel pencils. This thread is for ALL skill levels.

The idea is to fit some sketching time into your week by completing a sketch in one hour or less. You can sketch anything, whether it be from life or photos.

You can sketch for 5 minutes, or up to an hour, it’s up to you. It's a good idea to time your sketch, keeping it within 60 minutes. You know how time flies when you’re creating! So, get your pastels out, set a timer, and when your time is up, please post your sketches here and share your efforts with us!!

:clap: Please click here to see last week's fabulous sketches :clap: .... http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=425064

Please visit the Image Library to see hundreds of great photos! http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/ (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/)


maggie latham
06-11-2007, 01:35 PM

I’ll start it off this week, although this is a painting rather than a sketch ~ hope it is OK to post it anyway

Secret Hideaway
55 mins including time to make a much-needed cup of coffee. Wallis paper mounted to gator board, Ludwig’s (sp) dark purple, W&N pink and indanthrene blue, Schmincke white and yellows.
Inspiration: Last week driving thought the keys I spotted a little mangrove creek with a couple of sailing boats meandering in shallow still waters. The sky was blue, and the ocean turquoise, however, this is my intuitive interpretation!
6.5 X 8.5 inches


Maggie :cat:

06-11-2007, 02:05 PM
I adore this painting... I wish I could do this kind of work.. Maybe that's my new challenge....


Paula Ford
06-11-2007, 02:12 PM
Gorgeous Maggie!!


lacey sprocket
06-11-2007, 09:10 PM
Maggie, that's lovely! I can't stop looking at it!:thumbsup:

Here are a couple more I did today. I just bought a couple of HUGE sennies, since they seem to be a much better value. I'm learning to use the big stick. I used them a bit in both of these. I took a picture of the big sticks, cuz they are so awesome!:D

06-11-2007, 09:39 PM
Hi everyone,

I posted my sketch to the previous week's thread but I'd like to post it again here. :) Thanks for telling me, Paula.

These are Ayu (sweetfish). Popular Japanese summer freshwater fish -we broil them with salt. These are raw before cooking. Cooked ones? Had no time to sketch. :)


Thanks for the comment. Good to hear that you've been in Japan before, and my sketch could reminded you of your days in Japan.

Thanks, I used Sennelier's iridescent colors for the scales. this was the first try.. I hope it worked well.
You have such huge Senns! Personalities of the models are expressed nicely in these works, too.

Thanks, Ayu is much smaller than trout. The taste is also different.. I don't know whether they are available in the US but I hope you have a chance to try. They are nice. :)

Great waterscape painting. Colors you used are quite interesting.

Paula Ford
06-11-2007, 10:49 PM
Lacey, WOW, fabulous work, as always!! Would you look at the size of those Sennilliers!! They are gigantic!

Yusuke, LOVE the fish!! So glad you posted them here. I didn't want anyone to miss them.


lacey sprocket
06-12-2007, 01:13 AM
Yusuke, you've inspired me to draw my dinner!

06-12-2007, 02:10 PM
Maggie: Just beautiful! The gorgeous bold color reminds me of Wolf Kahn.

Lacey: I just love these. Lots of personality in the first one and I really like the graphic quality of the second. And the crab legs are great! (Both as a dinner and a sketch! :lol:)

Yusuke: Interesting about the ayu; I'll have to look for them. I wonder what their name is in English...

06-12-2007, 04:53 PM
Maggie, I really like your painting. It has so much atmosphere and mood. Super work.

Lacey, You know I really like your work. The personalities and colors are so bold. By the way, what time did you say dinner is served? :evil: Crab legs are one of my all-time favorites. Great job!!

Yusuke, Fabulous-looking fish! Were you too busy eating the cooked fish for another sketch? :D

I've done three sketches this week on the same paper as the radish. The peach, apricot and fig all grow in my yard. There's nothing like homegrown fresh fruit! 9 x 12 various softies, Canson paper Got a new camera for my birthday and it takes beautiful photos!


Pat Isaac
06-12-2007, 05:47 PM
Look at all these sketches already....I'll get back after this month..BUSY!!
Maggie, what a wonderful landscape, said in just a few colors and values.
Lacey, LOVE your portratis and the bold color. Those big senneis are just great. Crab legs!!!! when are you serving????
Yusuke, the fish are wonderful and I like all the texture that you achieve.
Binkie, how lucky to have all those wonderful fruits growing in your yard. Figs and apricots...heaven....great sketches and it is always interesting to see the real fruit rendered.


lacey sprocket
06-12-2007, 05:51 PM
Yeah Binkie! Yuo must have the coolest backyard! Have fun with your new camera!

Thanks AnnieA, Binkie and Pat! I'd share, if I could! :winks: We also had artichokes. Think I'll go have some leftovers...

06-12-2007, 09:42 PM
I thought, it's Tuesday, I'm so smart, I've already got a couple to post; then I look in here and Wow!
Maggie, it's.... delicious!
Yusuke, probably also delicious when you ate it! The scales do look iridescent.; good use of them!
Lacey, I always know I'm in for a treat when I open your posts! Love the redhead especially.
Binkie, lovely glossy fruit!
My two are nothing special except I had fun doing them. The WDE forest is on some blue stuff called Art Paper, no tooth at all, 5x7. The plein air dock is uninspiring, but I felt like doing one and it was too late in the day to be fussy about the subject, 8x10 on grey Canson with a coat of pumice gel. Both one hour.

06-12-2007, 11:41 PM
This sketck was done with no smudging with fingers or sticks. I tried the progressive application of pastel technique, darkest to lightest and it worked out well. Although it looks like I have to apply the pastel either thicker or in more layers in some spots. The Stratmore paper is limiting though.

I worked from memory so no realistic tones at all, but I love the technique of mixing colours on paper instead of doing the blending. Just need to work on it some more. I need to find me a class to go to. I can only take so much trial and error. .... whoa is me.


PS. The crab legs look yummy!!!!!


06-13-2007, 12:13 AM
binkie: I love the fruits! They're wonderfully glossy-looking. Somehow they remind me of the beautiful marzipan fruits my grandmother used to give us at Easter. How wonderful to have all that in your own backyard! A new camera - how fun! What kind of camera did you get? It does appear to take terrific pictures. In what lighting did you take the photo?

Wendy: More lovely plein aires. I especially like the first - the sense of mountain atmosphere and light is very nice. I'm curious about the "pumice gel." Here's an image of what I bought, thinking it was the product you use (the image is way too yellow, because I took the photo under my yellow-tending kitchen lighting - the bottle is actually white): http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jun-2007/85002-Liquitex_Gesso_Bottle_DSCN4433.jpg Is that it? If not, could you tell us what brand/product it is that you use? (pumice gel)

Mike: Very nice pears! They have a nice round shape to them and the color and texture and highlighting is well done. I like the position of the one on the left. A class would be fun, but it appears that trial and error is working quite well for you.

06-13-2007, 06:38 AM
Annie, I have that Liquitex stuff and love it,but I don't put it on Canson because it's wet and I think the paper would warp. So I use the gel stuff from Golden. They have Pastel Ground and Pumice gel, which seem the same or similar to each other, and are less "wet", more like, oh, cream cheese than a liquid.

Mike, I like those pears! The colour- mixing turned out well.

Pat Isaac
06-13-2007, 08:56 AM
Lovely landscapes, Wendy and I especially like the atmosphere in the first one. Glad you had time to do some. Are you out of school yet?
Great form to those pears, Mike.


lacey sprocket
06-13-2007, 10:44 AM
Wendy, I like the colors you used in the dock!

Mike, Those pairs look yummy. That's how I blend, too. Sometimes I do lay down a bit of light color first, then go over it with dark, so I can scratch back to the light for small details, like wiskers, highlights, or for me weird patterns! Good luck finding a class, let us know if you do!

06-13-2007, 01:12 PM
Thanks, Wendy! :)

Paula Ford
06-13-2007, 01:15 PM
Oh yummm...crab legs! They look delicious Lacey!

Binkie, Great fruits and veggies!

Wendy, What lovely landscapes! Soft and beautiful as always.

Hi Mike, I hope you realize how much your work is progressing. You should be very proud. Just remember us when you become rich and famous! Wonderful pears!!

Hey you guys, I'll be gone until Saturday. I'll be attending a workshop given by Paul de Marrais (pastelpaul.com). It starts tomorrow morning, for 2 days. So I'll see you on Saturday.


lacey sprocket
06-13-2007, 02:28 PM
Have fun, Paula!

06-13-2007, 03:13 PM
Wendy, I really liked the one landscape when you posted it on WDE. The other landscape is nice too.

Mike, Nice pears!


06-13-2007, 11:50 PM
I need some feedback on my layering. More so in the lemons, bowl and tea pot. Not so much the red cup as I have such a limited pallet of reds right now. Grrr...

Besides the obvious drawing issues with regards to true shape, how do the actual objects come across?

I could have spent a lot more time adjusting shapes but decided not to as this was an exercise in 1) blocking in the sketch and 2) layering pastels to give depth. All in all there is only about 4 layers max on the lemons.


Reference photo: http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/data2//61/medium/lemonbowl.jpg


maggie latham
06-14-2007, 09:20 AM
Hello everyone,

Some fantastic art here this week! Thanks for your kind comments about my little painting. Yusuke, have you ever considered illustrating a recipe book or for a food magazine? The fish would make a great greetings card with a recipe underneath or on the beck. Annie, I don’t think what you bought is the same stuff as Sundiver used. Clear gesso is not the same as pumice gel, although it does have a little bit of texture in it. (You can mix more pumice powder into it to give it more tooth) If you log on to Dick Blick I think they list all the Liquitex and Golden products. Also Dakota Pastels sells pumice powder and gel. Maggie Price's new book has a good section on making your own grounds.

Take care everyone,



06-14-2007, 05:06 PM
Maggie...this is a beautiful work that reminds me of a painting by Winslow Homer (the painting name escapes my feeble mind at the moment)

Lacey..Don't you love the big stick? (HINT....keep one end flat for pulling fine lines.)

Yusuke...I love the simplicity of the subjects and you mastery of the medium.....between you and Lacey, with her crab legs, ya'll have me hungry for seafood!

Binkie....Nice studies of fruit and veggies......Good use of lights and darks.

Wendy,,,,,I would recognize your beautiful style anywhere,,,These are winners!

mrking......excellent work from memory on the pears.....and since you asked for input on the second still life, I would like to see more unification of the composition with color....perhaps pulling some colors from your subject matter into the background.

This is my contribution from a photo I took a few days ago. I also consider it a finished painting rather than a sketch. 55 minutes .....soft pastels on 9" x 12" Wallis


Pat Isaac
06-14-2007, 05:28 PM
mrking, nice start on the still life. I would also like to see some yellow reflections on the bowl from the teapot.
Preston, another nice lanscape. I have a little nit pick. The tree trunks in the background seem a little light to me as their value is almos the same as the road. Great color.


06-14-2007, 06:14 PM
Good eye, Pat....Thanks.....Now its stands out like a sore thumb....LOL Thant's why we have you around.....I'll fix it but probably not post .....Really a lot of good fast works this week.

Pat Isaac
06-14-2007, 06:20 PM
No problem, Preston. I love seeing your work. I'll get back to this thread in another week. A lot on my plate now.


lacey sprocket
06-14-2007, 07:10 PM
Mike, I would suggest punching your darks to help the bright yellows come forward. There should be some very dark little shapes in the bowl of lemons, for instance.

Preston, the woods look like something from the hobbit!

06-14-2007, 08:32 PM
Mike, I would suggest punching your darks to help the bright yellows come forward. There should be some very dark little shapes in the bowl of lemons, for instance.

Vrey good idea. Thanks!
I just wanted to say, and didn't want to start a new thread...

I got my 30 pack of Rembrandt's in the mail today (a buy via ebay) and I just finished trying them out. Whoa, much better than the Koss pastels I bought to get started. I am going to have to give the Koss pastels to my kids to play with now. :) Or at least just use them to block in colour. Glad I decided to get a better grade of pastel to work with. Now lets see if I can get the technique down.

Off I go to hunt for a larger set of Rembrandt's now.....-

06-14-2007, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the comments, Paula, Lacey, Annie, binkie, Pat, Wendy, Maggie and Preston,

At this moment, several attached files are not visible in WC!. I don't know what happened.. Hmm... but I saw them yesterday and I remember all.

Happy to hear that my fish inspired you. Your crab legs sketch is definitely your style. Bold colors and sharp outlines are so effective on the subject.

My dictionary says ayu is "sweetfish" in English but I don't know this name is popular or not. Its scientific name is Plecoglossus altivelis.

Haha...unfortunately, my appetite didn't allow me to sketch the cooked ones. ;) Your fruit collection is very nice. All are from your yard? What a beautiful life. You've got a lot to grow, eat, and sketch! Happy birthday.:clap:

Your plein air sketches always show the time and weather. I like them!

Your experiment on the techniques is interesting. thanks for your suggestive monologue. ;)

Illustrating a recipe book sounds nice! If you know someone who's interested in publishing recipes with oil pastel sketches, I hope you'll introduce me. :wink2:

Great painting of a forest. How many colors? I feel the sunlight dropping on the ground and the depth of the plants. Also atmosphere and the movement. I like both loose and sharp strokes as well.

My latest work is a souvenir from Kenya —Vacuum-packed tea. A friend of mine temporarily came back in Japan and visited my office yesterday. Nairobi Java House was my favorite coffee shop in Nairobi but I didn't know they started to sell tea leaves. Amazing.:eek: I sketched this package as soon as I got home. :) Oil pastels. 50 minutes.

06-14-2007, 10:13 PM
Mike: Nice job on the still life. I think you'll be pleased with your new Rembrandts - they'll give you a lot better handling qualities than the ones you've been using. You should try some "good paper" too! You'll be amazed at how much more pastel layers a sanded paper will take, for instance, especially compared to the charcoal paper you're using. I'm amazed you were able to get 4 layers on charcoal paper. If you just want to try out something close to the feel of a sanded paper, you could try a piece of very fine grit wet-dry sandpaper (3M Company makes some) - but remember it's not archival and you wouldn't want to use it for anything you want to keep. You've done really well on your sketches considering what you've been working with. I like the bold color of your still life, and the forms are good. Enjoy those new pastels...

Maggie: thanks for the info re: gesso. I think I'm going to try some of the Golden stuff, or maybe one of the clear Colorfix primers, as I'm aiming to be able to use the Canson laying around that I've decided I just don't like.

Preston: Just beautiful - all that lush, lovely color. And only 55 minutes! I like the sense of mystery provided by the dark areas between the tree trunks. Well done!

Yusuke: Thanks for the info on the fish - I'll look for it. The tea package is wonderful! I love the metallic look of the bag and the label is very well done! I like the bg color you chose too - it emphasizes the tea bag itself very well. Very nice! Enjoy your tea...

And I should add that you're a hard act to follow, Yusuke. :D (Your sketches are always so beautiful.) But, anyway, here's mine (and it's only Thursday! :p):

Sketch #30
OPs on 9x12 newsprint, 45 minutes


This was another attempt at white flowers, which have been the bane of my existance. I'm beginning to get there now I think - at least this is a big improvement over earlier attempts.

lacey sprocket
06-15-2007, 10:53 AM
Yusuke, another masterpiece! You do always seem to know when a background color will set off your sketch. What size are your sketches?

AnnieA, I like the loose, airy style you're using! It gives the flowers a lyrical look.

06-15-2007, 12:23 PM

Thank you for your comment. The tea was good. Your calla lilies are nicely modelled. It looks difficult to paint white objects. I really liked the expression around the pistils.

Another masterpiece? Well, thank you thank you.. :) The background color was exactly the color of the table. I think I was lucky. The size of the sketch is around A4 (8 1/2" x 11 3/4" maybe.. I'm not familiar with inches). But the paper was a bit large - I trimmed a little.

Well, I have just painted metals again. The paper is similar to Canson (smooth side), the size is a little larger than A4 (maybe the same as F6 canvas size). It took 50 minutes. Oil pastels.

lacey sprocket
06-15-2007, 01:27 PM
Yusuke, was this one on a yellow table? :lol: Great metal, are you using the metallics again?

Here's one which me and my best friend Lara did together. It's fun working on the same drawing at the same time, although sometimes you bump into each other a little!

06-15-2007, 02:04 PM
:heart: Hello Everyone!
I am Lacey Sprocket's friend Lara. I live in San Jose Ca. I am becoming an art teacher as we speak. So this is me finally saying hello to the community that Lacey has been having SO much fun with. She talks about you all just so you know. And she's having a lot of fun. Me: I won't be around nearlly as much because I just started teacher's school but I really like this artist community thing going on.
So once again: Hello Everyone!

p.s. It has been lots of fun seeing all the work that is up. Hopefully I will figure this site out and post some things of my own sometime...Or Lacey will just post our collabo work for me! ha...see above. :)

06-15-2007, 02:41 PM
Lacey, Yusuke, thanks for the compliments! :)

Yusuke: Another great sketch - you're doing amazing things with metallic surfaces. The metal just shines beautifully in your rendition. It must be especially hard to achieve these effects on a paper as smooth as Canson - are you able to layer much at all? I'm curious like Lacey is if you're actually using metallic pastels to get these effects. Please remind me what brand of pastels you are using.

Lacey: Another good one from you, too. As always, I love the vibrant color and stylized rendering. I can't imaging painting with another person (I have problems enough with just myself! :lol:), but you two seem to pull it off quite well! Any news on the gallery search?

Lara: Welcome to WC! :wave: Nice to hear from Lacey's partner in these interesting sketches. I hope you stick around and I look forward to seeing some of your own work. Best wishes for you at school. Teaching art seems like it would be an interesting and rewarding career choice.

Pat Isaac
06-15-2007, 04:32 PM
Yusuke, 2 great sketches. I really like the effect of gold packaging on the tea and the metallic shine to the silverware. Glad you enjoyed it.
Annie, the white flowers are lovely and they are hard. The thing about white is that it picks up all the surrounding colors.
Another bold color portrait, Lacey and what fun to do it with your friend.
:wave: Welcome, Lara and hope to see you posting soon. I taught for 30 yrs and loved it. What level will you be teaching?


maggie latham
06-16-2007, 09:43 AM
Hello Everyone,

I liked my tiny painting enough to see what it looked liked framed, and am pleased with the results.

I wanted to share with you the importance of matting and framing, and how it can affect your work. The mat is a double mat with an opening size of 5x7 inches outside size of 11x14 inches. Rustic frame is 11x14, and has an outside dimension of 13.5 x a16.5. I usually frame my work in gold frames, but thought the rustic look worked better with the seascape, and the wood ‘tones down’ the yellow in my painting. I particularly liked the way your eye travels straight to the painting as the thick frame and mat lead you in.

The idea of keeping your quick (under an hour) sketches and paintings, and choosing the right mat and frame to increase visual size of the overall piece, to me is very appealing. From something done quickly and intuitively I now have something to either sell, hang in my home, or give as a gift to a friend.

I am thinking of writing an article for WC on the importance of matting and framing and developing an eye for choosing what looks good with what. Once you have some confidence in this, it is way less expensive than going to a framers every time. What do you think?

Yuske and Lacey, you are so prolific. I LOVE your work! You make me want to try out oil pastels! Lacey I really like the intense blue background….wow! Do you guys use any mediums with them, or just by themselves? Hello Lara…..


Maggie :cat:

06-17-2007, 02:03 AM
First, Maggie, I love the frame!!!

Yusuke, your little sketches do inspire me to be more free with the medium. Sure your sketches are oil, but there is no reason soft pastels can't have the same richness.

Phew, been reading alot the last couple days and decided to go back to basic colour theory. Warms, cools, mixing, compliments, etc. It's been over 15 years since I first took my courses in it. Little did I know I have misplaced much of what I was taught. Once I feel more comfortable with colour I'll branch out more into on actual object. :)

Here is a quick sketch of possibly an orange, shadowed with blue at the equator, then blended in. Added an orange, red and green background for the hell of it, then ended up playing with the RH side to much. hehe

Anyway, it was a good learning experience. And I actually quite like some elements of it. Thanks for listening.


06-17-2007, 03:56 AM
hi im new to this site but am finding the support great i did this picture while off work a few weeks ago it took about an hour to do but i got engrossed in it hope you like it

06-17-2007, 05:07 PM
Mike, like your layering. You are really making strides.

Preston, what can I say other than I love it! The warm colors just sing.

Yusuke, Great sketches as always! The bag is wonderful, and now you have the silverware to go along with all the food you draw. :) Thanks for the birthday wishes. I was really into gardening years ago and planted a lot of fruit trees.

Annie, you didn't have any problem following Yusuke. Your calla lillies are fabulous! Great use of colors.

Lacey, you two did a nice job on this! Welcome Lara!

Maggie, your sketch looks lovely framed.

Mike, good texture on your orange.

Dave, welcome! I love your painting. It sets a wonderful mood as it draws you in to it.


Pat Isaac
06-17-2007, 05:17 PM
Maggie, your painting looks wonderful framed. I like a large format on a small painting.
mrking, nice moseling on the orange.
Dave, welcome to the sketch thread.:wave: I really like the strong color and movement in your painting.


06-17-2007, 05:32 PM
mrking, nice moseling on the orange.

I don't know that term. What is 'moseling'? :confused:


Pat Isaac
06-17-2007, 05:39 PM
:eek: sorry, I need a proof reader. I meant modeling.


06-17-2007, 05:50 PM
:eek: sorry, I need a proof reader. I meant modeling.


and here I was googling the word. :D lol

Pat Isaac
06-17-2007, 05:58 PM
Heehee...that's funny..:lol:


Paula Ford
06-17-2007, 11:44 PM
I just love all the sketches this week!! They are all so wonderful.

Welcome Dave! Your sketch is delightful and very colorful. So glad to meet you!!


06-18-2007, 09:45 AM
Pat: Thanks for the encouragement on my white flowers.
The thing about white is that it picks up all the surrounding colors.
I'm going to be thinking more about that next time I try a white flower (or any other white object) - thanks for the reminder.

Maggie: Thanks for the idea of framing the sketches. Right now I just have mine hanging from clips on the wall. I like the rustic frame.

Mike: You're doing great with your experiments - it's the best way to learn. Nice modeling on the possibly-an-orange.

Dave: Welcome to WC! :wave: It's a lovely sketch - I especially like the way the light appears just above the distant mountains and filters down the side. Very dramatic piece. Is it soft pastel or oil pastel and what's the size? I hope you'll join us often.

binkie: Thanks for your kind words. :)


lacey sprocket
06-18-2007, 11:16 AM
Maggie, thanks! Lara and I both just scribble our ops on very thickly, and in layers, no mediums. I do have a stick of transparant op that I use for some blending. The intense blue is a sennie ultramarine, I think. Layered on top of something or other. They happen so fast when you work together! I really like the frame you chose, I would love to frame all of my work, but I spend all my monies on the art supplies.

Mike, nice orange! looks pretty round.

Dave, nice atmosphere. I like the halo on the distant mountain and the hazy quality.

06-21-2007, 02:04 PM
thank you for comments sorry its took so long to get back busy a the moment
the picture of the sky is about 18" by 14" and done in soft pastel
i am doing two more at the moment, different subjects alltogether but will take longer than an hour
this is the stage they are at